By: Lanetra Bennett
April 4, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - If you need a ride in Tallahassee, just hop on the bus for free!
Starmetro is offering free rides. The offer started Friday and goes through Monday. It's in conjunction with the City of Tallahassee's "Homeless Veterans Stand Down" event this weekend.
Last year, the city celebrated by letting veterans ride for free. This year, the free rides are for everyone, going on any fixed StarMetro bus route.
Tallahassee resident Alkeem Carlyle says, "It's very generous of them. It helps a lot of people; especially the homeless people because they don't really have money to get on the bus or whatnot. I think it's a really good opportunity for everybody."
The "Stand Down" event is Saturday through Monday at the fairgrounds.
Homeless veterans will get to sleep in military tents and cots, get free hot meals, showers, health screenings, and a range of other services.
For more information on the Homeless Veterans Stand Down event, go to http://www.northfloridastanddown.org/.
News Release: StarMetro
StarMetro will provide free bus rides for the community in conjunction with the second annual Tallahassee Homeless Veterans Stand Down event, sponsored by the Florida Veterans Foundation (FVF). Citizens will be able to Ride for Free on any of StarMetro’s fixed routes Friday, April 4 – Monday, April 7.
“As a veteran myself, I’m thrilled that StarMetro is providing free bus service in support of the Stand Down event,” said Mayor John Marks. “This will ensure that our local homeless veterans can arrive to the event in a safe and reliable manner.”
The free rides are being offered in support of the homeless veterans Stand Down event, taking place this weekend, April 4-6 at the North Florida Fairgrounds. "Stand Down" is military terminology referring to the brief period of time a soldier leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength. This event offers homeless veterans a chance to rest from the challenges of life they face daily. The free rides will also give citizens an opportunity to learn about StarMetro’s transit system.
“StarMetro is excited to take part in such a great activity to help those who have served our country by providing free transportation to the Stand Down event,” said Ivan Maldonado, executive director of StarMetro. “During the Ride for Free weekend and on Monday, all patrons can ride unlimited throughout Tallahassee. The free trips will include all transfers, as well as nights and weekend routes.”
Over the weekend the North Florida Fairgrounds will take on a military atmosphere as tents and cots are set up for homeless veterans, who will live and sleep on the property throughout the weekend. More than 100 human service agencies and vendors will be participating to offer information, critical services and support.
The Stand Down event will provide homeless veterans with food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, Veterans Administration and Social Security benefits counseling and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as health care, housing, employment and substance use treatment.
As part of a national effort to provide important services to veterans in a coordinated fashion, Stand Downs began in 1988 and have been encouraged by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 200,000 veterans and family members throughout the country have received valuable services through such initiatives.